National

Mirage crash victims family grieves

New Delhi, Feb 5 (IANS) | Publish Date: 2/5/2019 12:13:18 PM IST

“We give our warriors outdated machines to fight, they still deliver it with all their prowess and might,” goes a viral message in the name of Garima Abrol, wife of Squadron Leader Samir Abrol who died in a Mirage-2000 crash along with his colleague Siddharth Negi.

But Samir’s brother Sushant told IANS on Tuesday that it was him who penned the message not her. He said he was overcome by emotions while flying back with his brother’s coffin and that it was a comment on the system in general with no reference to anyone specific.

“Never had he breathed so heavy, as for the last time, while the bureaucracy enjoyed its corrupt cheese and wine, “ read the message, but Sushant said that the word “corrupt” has been taken in a wrong sense.

He said there were eight other officers on that flight and he saw tears in their eyes as they were my brother’s course mates who had spent all the time with him. “I realised it could have happened with one of them also,” he said. It is not the family’s loss but loss for the air force, for his friends, he said. “What I wrote was in the flow of things,” he said.

Sushant said the family is awaiting the outcome of the court of inquiry report of the accident to know about the causes and are with the Indian Air Force (IAF).

Abrol and Negi were highly trained Aircraft & Systems Testing Establishment (ASTE) test pilots. 

Defense minister Nirmala Sitharaman visited the families of the two pilots on Tuesday to express her condolences.

The accident has brought HAL under accountability cloud. The aircraft was upgraded by HAL and was on an acceptance sortie. 

Talking about his brother, Sushant said he opted to become a test pilot which is five times riskier than a normal fighter pilot.

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